Gov. Dayton says the Vikings stadium issue may be done until next year.
Vikings lobbyist Lester Bagley suggests "there is no next year" when asked about the stadium.
MPR also does a little sleuthing to see which DFL lawmaker backed off his commitment to support the stadium.
The Mesabi Daily News reports that the six-month delay in mineral leasing rights will continue, possibly until the council meets next June 6.
The Game and Fish bill hit a snag in the Minnesota Senate.
The Senate Ethics Committee deadlocks over a complaint against GOP Sen. Geoff Michel (Again!).
AP says there are questions as to how the Senate is paying the outside counsel that is advising the Senate GOP on legal matters related to a suit by Michael Brodkorb.
ALEC ends a committee that supported the "Stand your ground" bill.
The Senate expands the types of consumer fireworks for sale.
I-35E toll lanes zoomed ahead in the Senate.
The Washington Post says there may have been as many 21 women involved in the Secret Service scandal.
President Obama wants greater oversight of world oil markets.
The Senate is debating a bill that would help rescue the U.S. Postal Service.
The Senate backed off a plan to vote on a budget.
House Republicans use an arcane maneuver to tack the Ryan budget plan onto another piece of legislation.
Catholic bishops criticize the Ryan budget for cutting food stamps.
The Senate Ethics Committee issues guidance on the STOCK Act.
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen supports a $46 billion tax cut to small businesses.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison testifies on racial profiling.
Race for U.S. Senate
Republican Kurt Bills will announce his legislative leadership team at a morning news conference. Here's the list of legislative endorsements that he's been handing out at conventions.
Race for Congress
Politico says the DCCC is aiming to spend $32 million on ads after Labor Day (including $2.9 million in the Twin Cities market).
The Star Tribune says money is pouring into the 8th District race.
Race for President
An aide to Mitt Romney has turned her focus on finding Romney's running mate.
Romney warns of the "vast left-wing conspiracy."
Several environmental groups intend to back President Obama.
In an appearance on Meet the Press last weekend, Rep. Michele Bachmann did something that may have seemed unusual: she praised and defended Mitt Romney, her former rival for the GOP presidential nomination.
Bachmann dropped out of the race in January, after coming in last in the Iowa caucuses. But she's said she would get behind the eventual nominee.
During an exchange with another guest Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, Bachmann inched closer toward officially throwing her weight behind Romney, who has more delegates than the other contenders.
"Mitt Romney would like to privatize Medicare and Medicaid," Gillibrand said.
"These are patently false statements that are being made about Mitt Romney," Bachmann interjected. "He has not come out and said he's going to do what the Senator is stating."
As it turns out, neither Bachmann nor Gillibrand has the whole story.
Romney wants to give the elderly the option of staying in Medicare or taking financial support from the government to help buy private health care coverage. If Romney implements this plan as president, he's promised it won't apply to those who are 55 and older.
Last November, the Romney campaign told the Wall Street Journal that creating competition among private plans could make them a cheaper alternative to Medicare. Eventually, the elderly may favor private plans over the government option as a result.
Critics say Romney's approach would affectively end Medicare because government subsidies wouldn't keep up with the rising cost of care.
On Medicaid, the federal government currently pays for a percentage of the states' expenses. Poorer states get more federal dollars and wealthier states get fewer.
Romney has proposed slowing Medicaid spending to eventually save $200 billion annually. The federal government would still help pay for the program by giving states block grants.
Romney hasn't provided too many details about his Medicaid plan, but it mirrors one put together by Republican Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office wrote in 2011 that states would surely have more flexibility in how they spend dollars under such a plan, and may achieve greater efficiencies as a result.
"Even with additional flexibility, however, the large projected reduction in payments would probably require states to decrease payments to Medicaid providers, reduce eligibility for Medicaid, provide less extensive coverage to beneficiaries, or pay more themselves than would be the case under current law," the CBO report states.
Gillibrand's statement goes too far, but Bachmann's claim doesn't go far enough.
To say that Romney has no plan to privatize Medicare is misleading. He wants to partially privatize the program.
And while Bachmann is right that Romney doesn't have plans to privatize Medicaid, she leaves out the fact that turning it into a block-grant program could spell big changes in benefits and coverage.
On balance, Bachmann's claim is misleading.
The Washington Post, On Romney's Medicare plan, a devil in the details, by Sarah Kiff, Nov. 4, 2011
The Wall Street Journal, Romney Proposes Voucher Option for Medicare Plan, By Jonathan Weismann and Patrick O'Connor, Nov. 5, 2011
MittRomney.com, Medicare, accessed April 17, 2012
MittRomney.com, Believe in America: Mitt Romney's Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth, accessed April 17, 2012
Medicaid.gov, Financing and Reimbursement, accessed April 17, 2012
Congressional Budget Office, Long-Term Analysis of a Budget Proposal by Chairman Ryan, April 5, 2011
E-mail exchange, Andrea Saul, spokeswoman, Mitt Romney for President, April 17, 2012
Gov. Dayton is discussing the Vikings stadium situation with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Dayton's spokesman Bob Hume said Dayton called Goodell earlier today to discuss how the stadium issue gets resolved in Minnesota. Hume characterized it as a "sobering conversation."
"The commissioner shares the governor's sense of urgency to have the state act this year," Hume said. "The commissioner reiterated that the failure to do so would have serious consequences for both the Vikings and the NFL in general."
Hume couldn't outline what those "serious consequences" would be. Hume said Dayton, Goodell and Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney (Chair the NFL's stadium committee) will discuss the situation again in the morning.
Dayton and other stadium supporters have said that it will be difficult to revive the stadium bill this session after a committee in the Minnesota House killed the bill earlier this week.
The House Taxes Committee is scheduled to take up a bill on Thursday that was initially aimed at helping finance the stadium. Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, said he wanted the Tax Committee to act on the charitable gambling portion of the bill. He said, however, that he was open to seeing the Vikings stadium bill language amended on to the bill after the Tax Committee acts on it.
"I want to get it clean out of there (Tax Committee)," Kriesel said. "Down the road, who knows?"
Meanwhile, Rep. Tim Mahoney, DFL-St. Paul, held a news conference calling on the Vikings stadium to be built in Arden Hills.
"As a fan and a taxpayer, I recognize the need to not just find a stadium solution, but to find the right solution. A solution that will benefit Minnesota as a whole," said Rep. Mahoney in a statement. "Given the jobs it will create and the property taxes it would generate, I believe this proposal does just that."
The Vikings and Ramsey County had a deal on a new stadium but it fell apart after the GOP controlled Legislature raised several concerns over the financing plan.(1 Comments)
Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk pulled a flea-flicker play on TPT's Almanac at the Capitol tonight: two days after a Vikings bill died in a House committee. The DFL-er offered a surprise pledge to revive the plan in the Senate.
"The bill in the Senate is in the Local Government committee, and Sen. Senjem has been having a hard time getting the Republican votes there," Bakk told Almanac reporter Mary Lahammer. "So I actually told him yesterday that I will put up the majority of the votes to pass the bill in the local government committee, if they can get a hearing scheduled there, to move it onto the Senate tax committee, where it'll face another pretty tough hurdle."
Republican Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem wasn't nearly so effusive about the idea.
When asked by Lahammer whether the Senate would hold another stadium hearing, Senjem responded: "I would believe probably we are, one way or another."
He said it would be up to Senate Local Government chair Sen. Ray Vandeveer, R-Forest Lake, and stadium bill sponsor Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont.
Senjem also put in a plug for GOP Sen. Roger Chamberlain's plan to loan the Vikings money for a new stadium rather than subsidizing the project outright.
"People are all of the sudden starting to look at it far more seriously than before," Senjem said. "There's a tone in our caucus, let's take a longer look at that one."
Senjem said the hearing could still come this week.(8 Comments)